Art

Darkness Over Light

Max Power recounts his experience at the “The Cave Show”

Story, photos and video by Max Power - max.power@citizenbrooklyn.com

Darkness Over Light from Citizen Brooklyn on Vimeo.

Just came back from the Isla Bonita. I went for the third edition of “The Cave Show” organized by Ramiken Crucible. Some readers will remember our review from last year. There were many artists and we were making a film.

Photo © Max Power

Photo © Max Power

This year was much slower, everybody cooled down. It seemed to me that we came back to absorb the experience that we had the previous year, like if we had some unfinished business. I enjoyed the beach and the waves, even the local food. But, madness was still around the house…

Photo © Max Power

Photo © Max Power

The guests of Ramiken were the Gelatin, a very famous art collective that exhibits all over the world in the best museums and biennials and is famous for going around naked no matter what. They have this kind of excitement like two-year-old kids, to get undressed when they are happy and just starting running around naked. But, honestly, they do it in a nice way, like innocent children. You don’t feel that you need to join, you just let them do their shit…

Courtesy of www.gelitin.net

Courtesy of www.gelitin.net

What I like about Gelatin is that they are always producing art constantly; recording a song, a short video performance, drawing each other and so on. And, they do it with a certain rigor. They are crazy pros. Ok I’ll admit that I felt there were to many dicks around but I enjoyed staying with them. We spent the first night betting with dice and drinking rum.

Courtesy of www.gelitin.net

Courtesy of www.gelitin.net

The day after we went to the cave where they organized a performance piece for bats. They carried two very heavy helium tanks across the jungle and they inflated hundreds of white balloons sticking an LED light in each one of them.

Photo © Max Power

Photo © Max Power

The effect was a bit too romantic for my taste, but it was certainly a poetic moment, well contextualized and executed. At one point, when the night came, they start singing ancient songs and everything seemed to make sense. A bunch of naked guys singing in a cave, praying unknown gods and amazed by the world around them… We probably all came from this, right?

There was a sad moment when we moved to the other cave chamber and discovered that the Andra Ursuta piece, a totemic metal sculpture three meters high, installed last year had been stolen.

Photo © Max Power

Photo © Max Power

I couldn’t believe that someone carried that thing over an hour hike back to the street, even if it was a very valuable piece (about forty-thousand). Puerto Ricans are smart, but the contemporary art scene is a bit behind…

I went looking around the area and there it was. Hiding in the jungle like a Mayan pyramid… We placed back in his spot and lit the flame. It seemed like a battle between light and dark, and we thought we won a round…

Photo © Max Power

Photo © Max Power

The way back in the darkness of night was scary and muddy. The jungle became an unfamiliar place with sounds and shadows. It was actually fun trying to stay on the path and get back to society.

Photo © Max Power

Photo © Max Power

Maybe the cave show won’t happen again. Each time it’s a great challenge to make it happen, but I was happy to be part of it. Culture is hiding in caves far away from social media, internet connections and fancy events. And, this trip reminds us that it takes effort and passion to get to know what’s happening down there in the darkness…

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